Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

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P.O. Box 65
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(304) 535-6298
E-mail: Marsha_Starkey@nps.gov

Throughout its history, Harpers Ferry has been the backdrop for remarkable and unparalleled events. Here, in one setting, several themes in the American story converge: Native Americans, industry and transportation, African-Americans, John Brown, the Civil War, and the natural environment. Harpers Ferry became part of the National Park System in 1944. The park covers over 2,300 acres in the states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Visit the comprehensive Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Virtual Visitor Center for detailed park maps, historic photo collections, artifact exhibits, up-to-date visitor information, and educational resources for students and teachers.

Fees, Costs Rates:
7 Day Family Pass: $5.00 per vehicle or $3.00 per person (cyclists and walk-ins). Golden Age, Golden Access and Golden Eagle Passes honored. Commercial Tour Fees available on request.

Operating Hours, Seasons:
Daily, summer: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; daily, winter: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed December 25

Visitor Opportunities

Visitor Center/Exhibits:
Information Center, Industry Museum, Restoration Museum, Wetlands Exhibit, John Brown Museum and Fort, Storer College Museum, Black Voices Museum, Civil War Museum, Harper House, and Jefferson Rock. Living History Exhibits open on a seasonal basis.

Trails, Roadways:
Virginius Island Trail, Hamilton Street, Jefferson Rock Trail, Maryland Heights Trail, Bolivar Heights Trail. Also intersecting at Harpers Ferry are the Appalachian Trail, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

Programs, Activities:
Regularly scheduled ranger-guided tours are available seasonally. Educational programs for schools are given throughout the school year. Reservations required. Elderhostel programs are sponsored by the Harpers Ferry Historical Association.

Lodging and Camping Facilities:
None in the park. A variety of lodging and camping are available in the area.

Other Concessions, NPS-Managed Visitor Facilities and Opportunities:
The Park Bookshop, operated by the Harpers Ferry Historical Association, is located in the Information Center in the Lower Town District. Over 2,000 titles are available with special emphasis on John Brown, the Civil War, African-American History, Industry & Transportation, the Environment, and official NPS handbooks and videos. For further information call 1-800-821-5206.

Reservations/Permits:
Reservations for school groups and other educational groups should be made three weeks prior to your visit. At least one month's notice and application for Special Use Permits is required. Filming permits are arranged on an individual basis. For additional information concerning reservations, special use or filming permits, call (304) 535-6223.

Accessibility:
Special transportation van is available to the Lower Town District. Most exhibits and museums are accessible. Wheelchairs are available.

Special Needs:
Parking available at the Park Visitor Center. Transportation via shuttle bus to the Lower Town District. Special needs van to assist visitors in wheelchairs is available.

Basic Visit Recommendations:
A minimum of four hours is recommended to visit the various museums. One to two days are recommended to visit all park areas and hike the trails.

Special Events/Programs:

  • February -- Black History Month Program & Exhibit
  • May -- Industry & Transportation Expo
  • July -- "The American Experience" -- a 19th century July 4th celebration
  • September -- Civil War Event - "Harpers Ferry Under Siege"
  • October -- "Election Day - 1860"
  • December -- "Keeping Christmas"

Adjacent Visitor Attractions:
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Appalachian Trail, Antietam Battlefield (17 miles).

Visitation:
Highest in June, July, August and October; lowest in January.

Climate, Recommended Clothing:
Summers generally hot and humid. Winters are generally cold with variable precipitation. Recommend layers of clothing, especially in spring and fall, and good walking shoes.

Directions

Harpers Ferry is located along U.S. Route 340 approximately 65 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., 20 miles southwest of Frederick, Md., and six miles northeast of Charles Town, W.Va.

Train: Amtrak's Capital Limited stops at Harpers Ferry daily with westbound service from Washington, D.C., and eastbound service from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago. MARC Rail operates several commuter trains between Harpers Ferry and Union Station (Washington, DC), Monday-Friday. For information on MARC and Amtrak schedules and fares, call 800-325-7245.
In Park: Shuttle transportation system connects Park Visitor Center with the Lower Town District; bicycles; personal vehicles.

Harpers Ferry scenic driving


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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